Smallville
Echo

Episode Report Card
Tippi Blevins: C- | Grade It Now!
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Clark Kant Reed So Gud

Finally the Toyman shows up in this episode. Well, sort of. We don't see him but we see his cluttered workshop, with various toys like those creepy cymbal monkeys strewn about. On a desk, a copy of the Daily planet helpfully reminds us that he's still at large. He giggles maniacally offscreen: "Let the games begin!"

At the Mexican bar, Tess and Oliver appear to have the whole place to themselves. The gentle music of seemingly genuine concern plays. Oliver sits at the bar, drinking. Tess watches him from across the room. "What the hell were you thinking?" she asks. "They could have killed you." He says she didn't give them a chance. Oh, boo frickin' hoo. If you want to die, don't do it in some passive-aggressive way that results in someone else having your blood on their hands. His shirt is awesome, though. I've just noticed there's this cool embroidered detail on it. I'll have to see if I can order one from A&F. Tess gets after him for not knowing about his factory blowing up and not giving a damn about anything anymore. He drinks some more and says she wasted jet fuel to come lecture him. "Your company is failing," she tells him. His shareholders are upset. Oliver thinks she should just tell them the truth and take over the company herself: "It's what you've always wanted, isn't it?" Her voice is soft but stern as she asks him why he's punishing himself. He doesn't say. She comes up behind him and touches his shoulder. "Oliver, what did you do?" Sad, tinkly music plays. Oliver gets teary but pulls himself together and turns to face her. He wants to know what she really wants from him. She drops the ruse and her expression slowly hardens. Cassidy Freeman is awesome at conveying a lot with subtle facial expressions. Her eyes are always engaged. Tess wants Oliver to address the shareholders. "Cheer up," she says with an eerie smile. "You can fall down drunk in a gutter as soon as it's done." She turns and leaves. Oliver pouts.

Daily Planet. Night. Clark walks in and hears Chloe thinking: "It's a good think he can't hear what I'm thinking, or else -- " He finds her waiting at his desk and cuts her off: "'Or else' what, Chloe?" She crosses the room towards him and tells him she doesn't want him to break Lois's heart. Clark looks confused, which is pretty much his default setting. So Chloe explains it for him: "You can't just trick someone into dating you." Clark gets defensive. Plus, he doesn't even think it's a real date. Chloe disabuses him of that notion and then gets after him for apparently standing Lois up. Clark's all, "But I asked her out before I knew our bomber was an innocent man!" Nuh-uh! You called him the "mystery man's puppet" before you asked her out! I just recapped it! So there, doofus. He shows Chloe the same newspaper we saw on Toyman's desk. In the accompanying pic, Winslow looks less like a mad bomber than a chubby, sad-faced cocker spaniel. Clark says that's why he didn't call Lois back: "Last thing I need is her showing up here and following me into harm's way." There have to be a dozen better ways he could have covered himself here, but... eh. Whatever. Clark says, "Winslow's trying to smoke Oliver out. He's insane." Chloe agrees that Winslow was insane enough even before Oliver framed him for Lex's murder. She tells Clark about Oliver addressing his shareholders tonight at a black tie gala. Clark tells Chloe to wait at the Watchtower, then zips off to rent a tux, I guess. Or maybe he'll just steal one.

Ace of Clubs: Where Metropolis's social elite meet to be torn to shreds! A bunch of Canadian extras are standing outside all dolled up in evening attire. A guard with a clipboard mills around making sure people are on the guest list. Clark whooshes onto the scene and reads the guy's thoughts as he goes through some of the guests' last names. Clark uses one of those names to try to get into the party, saying he's "Kennair." It would have been hilarious if the guard had looked at his list, then at Clark, and then was like, "You don't look like Mitzi Kennair! Imposter!" The guard checks the clipboard and asks if "Mr. Kennair" has a "plus one." Before he can answer, a gigantic monster truck rumbles to a stop behind him. Lois climbs down from the passenger side in a figure-flattering gold dress. Clark asks her what she's doing there. Her thoughts answer, "Standing in the shadow of six-and-a-half feet of handsome," then chides herself about needing to kick his ass. I don't know if Durance is trying to look guarded or hardened, but it's coming across like her character's thoughts are just not reaching her eyes. Lois accuses Clark, out loud, of ditching her and not telling her about Oliver's return so that he could have the article for himself. "You can't get rid of me that easily -- I have the Internet on my phone!" All right: Heh. She stomps past him. I guess she got the dress from the monster truck driver? Maybe it was drag queen night at the rally. Clark tries to explain, but Lois isn't having it. "Bros before hos," she says of the journalistic world. Her thoughts are sad because she thinks this was never about "more than a story" for Clark, and might never be. She plasters on a fake smile and walks with Clark into the party.

Inside the party, Clark tries to get Lois to leave by saying he can cover the story on his own. Lois chides herself in her thoughts for getting attached: "They always leave." Part of what's slowing this episode down is that the action comes to a dead halt while Clark's listening to what people are thinking. It's like watching a sitcom where the actors wait for the audience to finish laughing before going to the next line, only worse, because it's not funny. Lois, for no discernible reason other than to get her out of this scene, decides that Clark can "fly solo" on the story and leaves. Clark watches her for a moment as she leaves, then starts listening in to the shareholders' thoughts. They're worried about losing money and about Tess ruining the company. One woman's thoughts snark about Tess: "Oh, so the devil came in a blue dress tonight." It's sort of an uncharacteristically fugly dress, too. Tess stands at the podium and introduces Oliver to the crowd as their "fearless leader." There's a smattering of applause. Oliver takes the podium and starts reading his teleprompter: "Hopefully, I can remain upright long enough to say what..." He trails off when he realizes what he's saying. He looks down at his screen, then tries to play it off like his speech writer has a sense of humor. People in the audience chuckle. The screen tells Oliver to use the earpiece, which he does, causing some feedback in the mic. Everyone grasps their ears in pain, including Clark. There's a flash of light and then he can no longer hear anyone's thoughts. What a conveniently inconvenient time for that to happen. "Thanks, Dad," Clark deadpans. The Toyman's voice comes over Oliver's earpiece: "Oh, yes, Mr. Queen. It's your old playmate, Winslow Schott. I'm sure you remember. You framed me for murder, after all." How could we forget? It was the episode that got Omar G.'s worst grade ever. It cuts back and forth between Oliver at the podium and Toyman's sweaty face talking from his undisclosed location. Toyman tells Oliver that he'll have to read everything he's written or die. "If you move one muscle, I will kill everybody in this room." Toyman tells Oliver with maniacal glee that Oliver is standing on a pressure plate rigged to a bomb. He laughs and laughs.

Oliver slowly begins to read from the teleprompter. The assembled crowd looks puzzled as Oliver confesses he's got a silver spoon in his throat, never worked a day in a life, and has a selfish nature. Clark hears this and looks concerned. Oliver pauses, but the Toyman goads him on: "We haven't even gotten to the good part yet." For some reason, I'm tired of seeing the name "Toyman" so I'm switchin

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